Consumer confidence rises slightly according to Nielsen study

Nielsen shows: The Swiss are far more optimistic than the European average. The job optimism of the Swiss continues to rise - but the buying mood in Switzerland is rather restrained.


Consumer confidence in Switzerland rose slightly in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared with the third quarter of 2017. This is shown by the Consumer Confidence Index, which stands at 99 index points in the fourth quarter of 2017 in this country. Consumer confidence has thus risen by two index points compared with the previous quarter and is currently twelve points above the European average of 87 points. Year-on-year, however, the Swiss figure for the fourth quarter is three index points lower (Q4 2016: 102).

This puts Switzerland in tenth place in the European rankings. The top three are Denmark (116 points), Turkey (112 points) and the Czech Republic (104 points).

This is the result of the latest Consumer Confidence study by Nielsen, a global performance management company that provides information and insights into consumers' media and consumption behavior. The Consumer Confidence Index maps consumers' assessments of their job prospects, their personal financial situation and their willingness to spend money - always with a view to the coming twelve months. Nielsen has been studying consumer confidence in 64 countries worldwide since 2005.

Job optimism grows and grows

The most important aspect of consumer sentiment is confidence in the job outlook. 64 percent of the Swiss rate these as good or very good for 2018. "It shows that the Swiss have a high level of confidence in the labor market in this country," says Judith Kuiper.

But a European comparison also shows that job confidence is on the rise. On average, 38 percent of Europeans rate their job prospects as good or very good. Compared with the previous year, this figure has risen by seven percent.

Critical look at own finances

Even though the job outlook is good, the Swiss are rather negative about their own finances. The positive assessment has been declining slowly but steadily in recent quarters. However, at 55 percent, more than half of the Swiss still rate their own financial situation as good or very good, four percentage points less than in the prior-year quarter. The European average here is currently 46 percent. "Although the Swiss share is still higher than the European share, it is clear that financial pressure is also increasing in Switzerland," explains Judith Kuiper.

Vacations, health care, clothing: What the Swiss spend their money on

In the fourth quarter of 2017, 43 percent of the Swiss believe that 2018 is a good time to spend money. This figure fell by seven percent year-on-year (Q4 2016: 50 percent). On average in Europe, 37 percent see 2018 as a good and very good time to spend money. This figure has risen year-on-year (Q4 2016: 34 percent). After the Swiss have covered their living expenses, 45 percent of consumers prefer to invest in vacations. 43 percent put their money into healthcare and 33 percent spend it on new clothes. Only 27 percent of the Swiss think about saving money.

The study can here download free of charge.

About the study

The Conference Board Global Consumer Confidence Survey on consumer confidence and shopping habits was last conducted in collaboration with Nielsen between November 08 and 23, 2017. It surveyed more than 32,000 regular Internet users in 64 countries in the Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, Africa and North America regions. The sample is quota-weighted by age and gender for each country based on their respective internet users. It thus represents the country's Internet users and has a maximum variance of ±0.6 percent. This online survey is based solely on the behavior of respondents with Internet access. Internet penetration varies by country. For a country to be included in the survey, Nielsen requires that at least 60 percent of the population, or ten million people, have Internet access. The Consumer Confidence Index for China is collected in a separate survey using combined methodology among 3,000 respondents. The Global Consumer Confidence Survey has been conducted continuously since 2005.

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